Since its inception in 2008, Sole Sisters has grown from a small group of women to groups of women who meet around the metro-area every Saturday morning to enjoy each other’s company while logging miles and training for a local half marathon. While enjoyable and challenging, members of Sole Sisters longed for a race closer to their own community that was more affordable so they created their own race affectionately known as Queen of the High Road. QHR as it is known by Sole Sisters members, was formed as a women-only event that is capped at 500 to keep that “small race feel”.
The group of a few dozen women has grown to over a thousand with members in Sherwood, Tigard, Newberg, Oregon City, Canby and Beaverton. Each group has volunteer coaches that lead the group every Saturday in pre and post run stretches, and groups are made up of runners and walkers of various paces and abilities who are training for either the QHR 10K or half marathon. Personally, I have been able to join the ladies in Oregon City for a few runs over the last couple of months and have enjoyed their company and their drive to better themselves as individuals and as runners.
In order to get a little more insight into the formation and history of Sole Sisters and QHR, I reached out to Race Director Jules Moody the following questions:
1) What do you think makes QHR different and/or stand out from other races in the metro-area? Our race is different in that it has a small town personalized feel. Over half of the women crossing the finish line we KNOW! Thirty volunteer coaches have trained with the runners over the past 14 weeks, so they are encouraged, cheered and hugged along the way , and hearing their name shouted along the route and at the finish has an emotional appeal! This race is NOT about competition speed or time. Its about accomplishing a goal, walking /running alongside and encouraging others to finish!
2) Where does the name of your race come from? Our name represents our values as a volunteer/women-led group. The Sole Sisters is our training group, and we while we are not a faith based group, ALL of our coaches have high standards of “staying on the high road” in life. We believe in welcoming every woman, and supporting them in every way as they train. When they do our event and cross the finish line, they are “crowned” QUEEN of the HIGH ROAD!
3) As more and more women participate in the sport of running, why is it important to have women’s-only races? Being among females only has a special feel—we can laugh and cry together with no judgement and enjoy being queens!
Saturday, May 20th is the date of 7th annual Queen of the High Road race. The course starts and ends at the River Shelter in Memorial Park in Wilsonville. The course takes participants around Coffee Creek Wetlands and Graham Oaks Nature Park. A variety of trail, road and paths make up the course and their will be aid stations for runners with gels and chews as well as fluids, provided. Instead of post-race medals, tiaras will be handed out at the finish line for each lady. Enjoy food and music in the park with friends and family members who have come to cheer you on.
What: Queen of the High Road Half Marathon & 10K
When: Saturday, May 20th
Where: Start and Finish line, Memorial Park River Shelter, Wilsonville Oregon. (Located next to the baseball field in the southwest corner)
Swag: A beautiful QHR shirt, finishers “tiara” and post-race food.
Race Day Info: There is no packet pick-up for the QHR event. We simply ask that you check in by last name at the QHR Check-in table when you arrive at Memorial Park at 8:00AM. Only people who registered by 4/30/2017 will receive a QHR T-shirt. Nothing else is needed.